Because of the imminent threat... oh wait, that turned out to be false. But then there were those weapons of mass destr... oh wait, that was bogus too. Oh yeah, Saddam as a brutal dictator and we the U.S. won't stand for them! Right? Think again:
"There are over 6,000 political and religious prisoners in Uzbekistan. Every year, some of them are tortured to death. Sometimes the policemen or intelligence agents simply break their fingers, their ribs and then their skulls with hammers, or stab them with screwdrivers, or rip off bits of skin and flesh with pliers, or drive needles under their fingernails, or leave them standing for a fortnight, up to their knees in freezing water. Sometimes they are a little more inventive. The body of one prisoner was delivered to his relatives last year, with a curious red tidemark around the middle of his torso. He had been boiled to death."
So, you'd think the U.S. would go after President Karimov's regime in Uzbekistan, right? Well...
"So, far from seeking to isolate his regime, the US government has tripled its aid to Karimov. Last year, he received $500m (£300m), of which $79m went to the police and intelligence services, who are responsible for most of the torture. While the US claims that its engagement with Karimov will encourage him to respect human rights, like Saddam Hussein he recognises that the protection of the world's most powerful government permits him to do whatever he wants." - [Full article]
Typical U.S. double-standard.